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Explore the North Coast by Sea with Portrush Sea Tours

Posted on August 25, 2014 @ 3:40 PM in Adventure

The North Coast is most famous for one thing (no I’m not thinking of Barry’s amusements or Morellis ice-cream although both strong contenders!); it’s all in the name, of course I’m talking about the fabulous coastline! With sea stack cliffs, historic castles, beautiful beaches and a famous geological phenomenom there are lots of impressive sights to behold in this part of the world. With so much to see the best view is definitely from the water as I would soon find out on my trip with Portrush Sea Tours who offer exhilarating tours of the famous coastline by boat.

Window wipers on I began my journey from Belfast to the North Coast one not so sunny Saturday excited for my tour on the ‘high seas’. Heading up ahead of schedule I made time for an obligatory ‘99’ (it’s never too early for ice-cream) just in time for the sun to come out, and for me to enjoy the views from Portrush East Strand.  

Portrush Sea Tours
Conveniently located right on the North Pier (next to Ramore Wine Bar a great place for a bite of lunch, dinner or a drink or two after) it was easy to find Portrush Sea Tours shop.   It was here I met Crawford and Pearl; Mr and Mrs Portrush Sea Tours - a dynamic duo and our skipper and tour guide for the morning.  After a friendly welcome and a cup of coffee everyone was soon assembled eager to get aboard.  Kitted out with life jackets, Crawford gave a safety briefing and we hopped on the Stormforce 11, a fast RIB (rigid inflatable boat) which would treat us to some exciting speeds at the same time remaining very comfortable and stable on the water.  With a cover for the boat allowing us to still have full view there was no need to let the threat of rain put a dampner on the day and more importantly us! All aboard, as no one else seemed to be fighting for it I was straight up the front beside the captain. 

North Coast ToursThe captain doing what he does best; a famous face hidden within the Skerries

Pearl explained the plan for the tour and give us a rough run down of what we would be seeing then with a whir of the engine we were off leaving the harbour behind us as Crawford got the tunes going.  Passing the impressive Ramore Head our next stop was the Skerries; a small group of islands scattered just off the Portrush coast, formed from cooled volcanic lava. Pearls knowledge of the area was fantastic and both she and Crawford had a great awareness of the wildlife pointing out Iderback ducks and grey seals which I would have missed.  Pearl had plenty of fascinating facts about this particular spot including famous faces hidden within the rocks, tails of freedom fighters and the secret of how the rabbits got to the skerries!   Sorry guys my lips are sealed – you’ll just have to go on the tour to find out. 

Portrush Sea Tours

Pearl telling us some interesting facts about the area

Accelerating along the water with the sea air in our hair we headed to Portballintrae harbour also known as the fictional town of Lordsport in the television series Game of Thrones. After admiring the distinctive white church high above us on the headland more impressive sites awaited us in the form of Dunluce Castle and the White Rocks.  Perched right on the edge of basalt cliffs, towering above us Dunluce Castle was a particular highlight for me.  It was amazing to stare up at the mighty structure from the sea and take it in from an entirely new and impressive perspective.  Built on the site of an ancient Irish fort, the Scottish style castle was occupied by the MacDonnells of Antrim and the MacDonalds of Dunnyveg, Scotland, providing no shortage of fascinating history for Pearl to share with us including tales of the kitchen which fell into the sea in 1690 and the ghosts that were left behind.

The awesome views continued as we zoomed beside the White Rocks stretching from Dunluce Castle to East Strand, an impressive array of limestone cliffs with caves and arches only accessible from the sea – something I would have never knew existed or have been able to witness from dry land. After waving at a group coasteering; jumping from the cliffs and exploring the caves, we headed back towards Portrush to take in the sandy beaches and impressive dunes. 

Born and bred in the North Coast Crawford and Pearls passion for the area really came through as they shared local knowledge, history and folklore helping to bring each location to life ensuring everyone was entertained both kids and adults throughout.  After taking in all the sites it was then time for Crawford to show us what the Storm Force could really do as he told us to hold on tight and notched up the speed for a fantastic spin which got everyone’s heart racing and the adults onboard fighting the kids for a coveted place at the back!

North Coast Tours

Crawford and I back on dry land

After a few laps at speed and skimming through the waves it was time to head back with the hour having flown in.  Once back everyone was raving about the trip keen to find out when they could go again. We had experienced the Bay to Bay Sea Tour however other trips include the Giant’s Causeway tour and Rathlin Island tour as well as the opportunity to go further afield to the Scottish islands of Juraand Islay so there was plenty of reason for everyone to come back for more. It was a fantastic experience made all the better by Crawford and Pearls welcoming and friendly nature with everyone learning a lot and getting to experience never before seen views of the coast.  Whether you are a regular visitor to this part of the world or are here for the first time I would definitely recommend this trip as I know Crawford and Pearl will guarantee you won’t be disappointed!  You don’t just have to take my word for it however, as theTripadvisor reviews speak for themselves.   

Activity Provider:

Portrush Sea Tours

+44(0)77 61696060 


Bay to Bay Sea Tour (approx 1 hour)

Cost per person: £20

Know someone who might like to give this a go?  You can purchase this and other tours online from the Gift Voucher page.   


Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson  Marketing Officer

Sarah joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in 2011. A firm believer in giving anything a go at least once (unless it involves jumping out of a plane at 6,000ft!) she is always looking for new adventures in the outdoors and can often be found wandering the Mournes or Glens of Antrim attempting not to get lost!

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